Let me tell you about my friend, Amelia. She is kind, thoughtful, and one of those people who, in a crowded room, makes you feel like the only person that matters.
When I first set out on my Chicago Marathon journey, Amelia was quick to ask questions, give me tips, and offer her support along the way. She was also quick to sign up for the local half-marathon I was running as part of my training. That half-marathon was a week ago and Amelia’s resilience and dedication are not lost on me.
There’s no way to sugar coat my sentiment – the days leading up to the race, I did not want to run. My attitude sucked. The week before, I got a cold that left me congested and extremely fatigued. I had also completely slacked off on my distance training the entire month prior, so my confidence and motivation were low (if nonexistent). I could have easily been talked into walking the entire thing -or worse- not showing up at all.
Amelia is a badass lawyer. She is brilliant, hard-working, and extremely dedicated. The day before the race, she was working on a case until 11pm. She got up the next morning, drove a half-hour away, was with me at the starting line by 7am, and ran 13.1 miles. Not only did she run, but she encouraged me (both with her words and actions) each step of the way. What amazed me even more – despite her lack of sleep – after briefly hitting up the finish line festivities, she promptly headed home, took a shower, and went back into work. I would later find out that she was there until 11:30pm to finish up this case. Amelia had every excuse to not show up that morning, but she did anyway and she did it in a way that inspired the hell out of me.
Living in different cities, Amelia and I had never run together before…in fact, I hardly run with a partner, so the take-a-ways for me were profound. Amelia taught me that you show up on race day and play the cards that you are dealt. Conditions aren’t always perfect (and I’m not just talking about the weather), but you honor your commitments – the ones you make to yourself and to others. She showed me that, TOGETHER, we could do it. That it’s okay to lean on others for support and encouragement…and sometimes that’s the ONLY way we can get through challenges and make our dreams (or our bucket-list) come to life.